Mobile operators positioned to drive new revenue streams from enterprise mobility and IoT

Mobility and IoT at the forefront of Digital Transformation

 In a new paper from CCS Insight, published in conjunction with Red Hat, enterprise mobility analyst, Nicholas McQuire, highlights the opportunity for mobile operators to enhance existing services and add new revenue streams through enterprise mobility and then expand from this to deliver support and infrastructure for IoT.

As Cathal McGloin, VP Mobile Platforms at Red Hat wrote, enterprise mobility is often the starting point for broader digital transformation projects. The paper outlines the opportunity for mobile operators to broaden their services to offer strategic consultancy, enterprise mobile application platforms and back-end integration.

Fresh Revenue Streams

Dominant providers of managed mobility services have been systems integrators, value-added resellers (VARs) and mobility specialists. McQuire points to the fact that 2015 saw a fifty per cent increase in revenues from managed mobility services and identifies a significant opportunity for operators to build mobile application platform and back-end integration services to drive new revenue sources.

McQuire argues that cloud-based managed mobility services offer cheaper and quicker roll out versus on-premise, with lower ongoing support costs. However, he reports that the majority of operators have not yet committed to managed mobility service strategies and predicts that this may contribute to consolidation in the European operator market in the next two years.

The CCS Insight paper identifies the opportunity for operators to use enterprise mobility services to engage more effectively with the C-suite, becoming a strategic partner to enterprises and paving the way to offer future digital transformation services to enterprises.

Generating IoT profits from enterprise mobility investments

Enterprise mobility market analysts, Brian Partridge and Chris Marsh, of 451 Research, predict that leading enterprises can make use of converged back-end platforms for enterprise mobility and IoT, to ease the management overhead involved in governing apps and internet-connected devices.

In the 451 Research Pathfinder paper, “Making the case for converging enterprise mobility and IoT digital initiatives,” sponsored by Red Hat, the analysts trace strong parallels in current IoT innovations with the evolution of enterprise mobility towards full maturity. They highlight the opportunities to address enterprise users’ requirements for better integration, improved security, and easier management of IoT apps.

In agreement with McQuire, the 451 analysts view enterprise mobility and IoT as fundamental components of digital transformation. They see that the existing capabilities provided by Mobile Backend-as-a-Service (MBaaS), enterprise mobility management and API gateways can also be required by IoT applications. They argue that convergence of mobility and IoT is necessary to ease the management overhead involved in governing IoT. Convergence can also help enable IoT initiatives to take advantage of the adoption of API-driven microservices, use of open source, cloud and PaaS delivery models, along with big data and analytics.

Operator opportunities

Nicholas McQuire,vice president, Enterprise, CCS Insight
Nicholas McQuire,vice president, Enterprise, CCS Insight

In the CCS Insight paper, McQuire outlines additional services that operators are well positioned to offer. These include mobile strategy and consulting services; app development and management; back-end integration services, including API creation and management; flexible deployment on-premise, in public or private clouds, or hybrid deployments; and single billing across devices connectivity, applications and services.

McQuire goes on to assert that mobile operators can differentiate their enterprise mobility offerings from cloud service providers because of the assured location of data when operators offer app platform services in their clouds. McQuire also points to the future revenue opportunities from IoT stating, “Operators that offer mobile app capabilities to the enterprise are well-positioned to expand the value of their existing machine-to-machine portfolios.”

Operator case studies

 McQuire holds up the example of Three Ireland. Working in collaboration with Red Hat Mobile, Three Ireland expanded its services beyond device provisioning and air time and began offering managed mobile services, including consulting, app development, back-end integration, and mobile security.

Following this strategy, Three Ireland was able to rapidly deploy and manage apps on behalf of a specialist insurance company, helping the enterprise customer to increase its market share from two per cent to 10 per cent. Using the Red Hat Mobile Application Platform, Three Ireland was able to successfully compete with an incumbent system integrator, winning it a public sector deal worth more than 1 million Euros.


McQuire notes that enterprises that are seeking support for mobile application development and management often approach their mobile operator first. Building on this trust with key enterprise customers, operators are well-positioned to become preferred providers for current enterprise mobility services and future IoT services. They hold the advantage of being able to offer enterprises mix and match back-end integration, app development and management services, with the simplicity of a single bill.

As enterprises focus on digital transformation, operators have an opportunity to profit from connectivity investments by broadening their services to offer strategic enterprise mobile management services now and IoT services in the future.

The author is Cathal McGloin, VP Mobile Platforms at Red Hat

Comment on this article below or via Twitter: @IoTNow_ OR @jcIoTnow

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